Think twice before accepting an invitation to this big mess of The Big Wedding. Adapted from the 2006 French-Swiss film Mon Frère Se Marie (My Brother Is Getting Married), this screwball sex farce stars Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton as a prickly, long-divorced couple, Don and Ellie Griffin. The Fockers, er, Griffins come together for the wedding of their adopted son, Alejandro, who asks them to pretend they're still happily married for the sake of his ultra-religious Colombian birth mother. Matrimonial hijinks ensue, as do countless plot contrivances and limp jokes about Viagra and sex. If you find yourself walking down the Wedding aisle, here are five questions to ponder during the 90-minute ceremony:
1. Why Did All These Stars Sign On? How could this middling Wedding attract such a top-tier cast, which includes not only De Niro and Keaton, but also Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace and Katherine Heigl? Someone at some point should have annulled this unholy union.
2. Where Have I Seen Them Before? You might recognize Ben Barnes, who plays Alejandro, as Prince Caspian from the last two The Chronicles of Narnia films—or as the titular narcissist in the underrated Dorian Gray. Patricia Rae, from the powerful drama Maria Full of Grace, appears as Alejandro's biological mom, Madonna, while Tony-winner Christine Ebersole (Grey Gardens) wears a wacky wig and botoxed face as Alejandro's mother-in-law, Muffin. Yes, Madonna and Muffin.
3. Why Am I Having Déjà Vu? As Father Moinighan, Robin Williams recycles his pastor role from License to Wed. Seyfried makes her third trip to the altar, after playing blushing brides in Mamma Mia! and Les Misérables. Keaton revisits Father of the Bride territory as mother of the groom. Plus, the plot recalls The Birdcage (a remake of La Cage aux Folles), with a gay couple (Williams again) playing it straight for their son's conservative in-laws. This Wedding certainly has "something old" and "something borrowed," but very little that's new.
4. Where Did Seyfried Get That Gorgeous Wedding Gown? Costume designer Aude Bronson-Howard wanted a looser, less formal wedding dress for Seyfried's character, Missy. The actress tried on racks and racks of the latest looks, from poofy to slinky and more. Then she put on a dress Bronson-Howard found on a sale rack—it was ill-fitting, but had a beautiful, delicate fabric. Inspired, the designer turned the unique fabric into a lovely, flowing gown, one that befits the affluent but unconventional Griffin family.
5. What Are Some Much Better Wedding Movies? For marriage-movie bliss, try saying "I do" to Four Weddings and a Funeral, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Wedding Singer, Wedding Crashers, Bridesmaids, The Hangover, Muriel's Wedding, The Princess Bride and Father of the Bride (both versions). Also make a vow to see director Ang Lee's second feature, The Wedding Banquet, about a gay Asian man who stages a straight marriage of convenience to satisfy his very traditional parents. Hmm, do those plot devices sound familiar?